The National Championship Air Races is the last event of its kind, carrying on the tradition of the Cleveland Air Races of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. In 1964, Bill Stead organized an air race near Reno, Nevada, and the Reno National Championship Air Races were born. The event that Bill Stead started in the Nevada desert more than 53 years ago is still going strong. The event has only been cancelled once in September of 2001 when all aircraft in the United States were grounded following the terrorists attacks in New York and Washington.
Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one week, the high desert north of Reno becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. Over the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 1 million spectators and generated more than $600 million for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations.